Every year we meet a bunch of "trends" posts in various industries, and customer service trends are taking their place too. Did they change or stay the same depends on which tactics you have applied previously. Let's find out what new or old trends the upcoming year has broad to customer service.
Markets are always described as "competitive and focusing on customer experience," but what's true - now we actually pay more attention to CX. The last year has proven that:
- Some businesses are still trying to understand how crucial customer service is to the overall brand or company
- Customer service keeps becoming another sales tool
- Omnichannel customer service is must-have
- eCommerce and customer service become a match made on digital heaven
Since more brands intend to meet growing customer demands, the appropriate customer service strategy is necessary for success. What changes are predicted to happen? Let's review the top eight biggest CX trends of 2022 and beyond.
Personalization Turns into a Requirement
Many businesses see the personalization of customer service as a driving force for outstanding CX. Those trends aren't new but are increasingly important. Don't want to miss a personalized customer service boat? Then you are highly advised to consider implementing
- a one-to-one experience by building personalized connections with customers
- personalized mobile experience. These days brands are going from web to mobile personalization especially those who work in eCommerce.
- image recognition technology for personalized suggestions. Yet, it's another trend for eCommerce.
- AI and machine learning for product recommendation
- data privacy and cookies personalization. The roller coaster of data privacy keeps on rolling out, so be ready to meet customer desire to take over control over their information.
Support Agent Experience or Experienced Support Agent?
Agent experience (AX) is a missing puzzle in customer service strategy. These days it is among the most popular customer service trends too. Help desk platforms provide self-service portals and internal wikis too. That's a kind of go-to resource to your support team if they need to check or refresh their knowledge. Since the workplace is becoming hybrid and distributed, your support reps rely more on a help desk system that allows staying productive and empowered.
How to ensure your support agents get an advantage from the help desk platform? Easily – just choose the system that meets your business requirements and easy-to-use. Be sure during the selection to put your service team's needs and quality of experience first. Besides, double-check a) integration capabilities to automate as many tasks as you can, and b) security measures and vendor's compliance to your industry standards.
The employee experience (EX) can also serve as a part of the total experience (TX) strategy. Incorporating TX into your organization's customer service policies will add to a 360-degree experience. And empowered and motivated support reps are satisfied with their work even more and perform better. If you are bothered by migrating your data, we are here to take the heavy lifting – all you need is to choose your ideal help desk system.
Automate as Many Processes as You Can?
Digital transformation of customer service became one of the most valuable and challenging customer service trends. The COVID-19 pandemic provoked and speeded up the implementation of the new approaches and solutions. All for the sake of increasing productivity and efficiency. Thanks to automation, organizations find it easier to streamline and deal with routine, repetitive tasks with reduced human input.
Help desk systems send automated triggers and notify your support reps about a customer problem or a bottleneck in, let's say, the payment process. So your agent jumps in a chat and helps to fix everything quickly. Proactive customer support in action, right?
The McKinsey survey states that organizations have accelerated the digital transformation of their client interactions by 3-4 years. To succeed with this investment, you should understand what your customers are looking for and how you can satisfy their needs. Yes, automation facilitates a lot of operational processes, but it takes more responsibility on a security side as well. Integration with numerous apps is a common thing for either SMB or SME. Be sure to take all necessary measures to improve the customer service experience of your agents and customers.
Omnichannel Support Rocks
Of course, omnichannel support was a widely used "nice-to-have" feature for many years. Now, it has become a must-have of customer service. The Forrester research claims that 80% of customers will regard the world as "all-digital" in 2022. It means that almost everything in our life revolves around digital technologies. People work online, shop online, and socialize using social media. Thus, companies who are overlooking omnichannel support are going to get less satisfied or even lose some of their customers.
On the other hand, digital exclusion is a significant problem in many countries. For example, the Lloyds Bank research demonstrates that almost 9 million people have no internet access in the UK. Or these individuals lack the necessary digital skills for getting help online. The efficient omnichannel customer service allows serving and supporting individuals of different ages, backgrounds, or abilities.
Is AI Still a Customer Self-Service Trend?
Implementing a self-help option is two-in-one: customer requirement and enhancement of workload on your support agents. Customers (expectedly) have various conditions. No doubts here, right? Let's see:
- some prefer the good old FAQs section
- others take value from knowledge base articles
- some customers like to get and share their experience in a community
- others like quick guidance from chatbots
So chatbots, along with intelligent IVRs, backed with natural language processing (NLP), can fix customer-related issues faster. To apply or not to apply AI-based tools in your customer service? Fall for "to apply." Even simple chatbots save time and effort. They use keyword searches to find necessary articles or other resources, which helps get a suitable answer.
Ultimately, artificial intelligence keeps driving innovations in support service and preserves its spot in a customer service trend list.
Let the Proactive Customer Support Be with You?
The adoption of cloud technologies and integration in help deks systems give a less bumpy way to anticipate customer needs. Yep, digital-first experiences continue to improve and keep a big focus for 2022.
Do your customer support team a favor and set them free from the burden of reactive support. Fall for a proactive approach. This way, you acquire a better understanding of who your customers are and what causes (or could bring) friction in their journey and be quick in preventing or addressing the friction. And you'll get an improved experience (for clients and support reps, too) and happy customers.
Here are a few samples to convince you of the benefits of adopting proactive customer support:
- Customers google their questions or issue and find your customer content. And they find the answer because you have optimized your guides or help section to be easily found.
- Setup triggers and makes your chatbot proactively ask your customers if they need some assistance or help after purchase or during using your service.
- Don't make your customers submit a ticket and wait for a response. Be proactive and offer a chat, call or email support any time.
- Automate outbound massaging if your supply chain got some disruptions or tech issues requiring more time to be fixed. Be proactive, don't wait for customers to blame a poor service.
Building a Hybrid Workspace
The increasing popularity of hybrid schedules takes a reasonable place in delivering a great support agent experience. These days we get used to working from anywhere and literally speaking nowhere (if there's an internet connection). Here is where help desk software helps you create a flexible and collaborative workspace.
The high productivity rates come at a human cost – people got overworked, exhausted, and lost the sense of work-life balance. Many business owners promote a hybrid schedule and offer a different perspective on cross-team collaboration and engagement. As a result, they got access to the bigger talent pool of remote candidates that have already learned how to strike a balance through a remote or hybrid workplace.
Security: Go Further Than a Mere Checkbox
Transparency of your business processes adds up or takes away from your customer retention as well as an unhelpful support rep, late response, or delayed order. Data privacy and security play a crucial role in developing customer-company relationships.
However, hackers attacks and other cyber threads remain their importance too. Be sure to deliver the industry-required SaaS security to minimize access points and take control over the information. Consider setting two-factor authorization, additional encryption of data, and enlarging your portfolio of security compliance.
What Customer Service Trends Should You Follow?
Let's be honest: some trends have relevance, and some look like a come-and-go thing. Often, the so-called "best practices" got labeled as trends. Unfortunately, those kinds of customer service trends tend to perform on and off – depending on your industry or audience or customer lifetime, or some other specific aspect of your business.
Does it mean you should adopt none of those trends? Nope. It would be best to analyze the effect it will have on your processes, customer experience, and bottom line. For example, omnichannel customer support makes sense because these days, people spend more time online and can request some help via any social media. An educational example of British Airlines proves that.
Each year, month, week, or day comes with growth opportunities, but despite choosing a customer service trend to adopt this year, analyze what weak spots your support service has and how you can improve it.